Beyond Compliance: Managing Electronic Records in an Ever-Changing Landscape, Part II

Beyond Compliance: Managing Electronic Records in an Ever-Changing Landscape, Part II A Deeper Dive into Records Management Processes By Musa Khan Senior Manager, Octo

A Deeper Dive into Records Management Processes

By Musa Khan, Senior Manager

Managing electronic records is no small feat. In Part I of our series on managing electronic records, we talked about regulations agencies must follow and Octo’s approach to helping our clients comply. The real work begins when we start putting that approach into action. Let’s take a look at what the process actually looks like.


To know where we are going, we must start with the end result in mind. Four objectives guide of approach to records management systems:

  1. Comply with National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and OMB Policies and Directives
  2. Have an Operational Records Management Program by Calendar Year 2023
  3. Mitigate Information Loss
  4. Leverage Technology Currently Supported by the Agency

Parallel Workstreams

To meet the objectives outlined above, Octo created four parallel workstreams which streamlines the processes and clearly defines metrics for success.

Workstream 1: Project Management

Project management moves an idea from concept to reality. That’s why our first workstream focuses on developing and executing documents to define the goals, management processes, schedule, and scope of the effort to put the records management system in place. This workstream gives us a roadmap to get from Point A to Point B.

Key Deliverables: Project Management Plan, Project Schedule, Risk Management Plan, Risk Register

Workstream 2: Records Management Training

As we mentioned in Part I, education is key. New processes are often unfamiliar. A training program can help bridge the gap between current practices and new ones. As part of our second workstream, we develop customized training materials that explain Federal regulations and the processes used to get there.

Key Deliverables: Inventory Training, Appraisal Training, File Plan Training, Metadata Training, Records Schedule Training

Workstream 3: Records Management Operations

Agencies cannot afford to lose data in the records transfer process. That’s why it’s important to have a full understanding of what records currently exist and a specific process to manage migration. In Workstream 3, we establish governance and processes necessary to achieve NARA approvals for records schedules. To start, we conduct a records appraisal and inventory to evaluate the agency’s current state. Once we know where we stand, we develop a records schedule, file plan, and metadata approach to migrate to a future state of electronic records management compliance.

Key Deliverables: Records Inventory, Records Appraisal, Records Schedule, File Plan

Workstream 4: Records Management Information Technology

Our final workstream involves standing up technical architecture to support the Agency’s records management program in a cost-effective and efficient manner. To do this, we work with the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to gather requirements. By choosing solutions that are compatible with existing technology used by the Agency, we reduce the risk of data loss and time required to transfer data. We guide our clients through this process from testing through deployment, ensuring that the data we begin with is the data we end with.

Key Deliverables: Requirements Analysis/Design, Records Center/Repository

How to Learn More about ERM Compliance

Electronic records management can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Let us help you build processes and infrastructure that make it easier to achieve full compliance. Reach out to one of our specialists to talk about your specific needs and goals.